Former Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZPRA) liberation struggle fighters are set to meet with a government envoy sent by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to discuss how they can reclaim their ZPRA properties.
The ZPRA properties thought to be now worth billions of dollars, were seized by the government during the Gukurahundi genocide of the 1980s.
Despite multiple frantic efforts, including a meeting with President Mnangagwa in 2019, the veteran liberation fighters are yet to receive their property back from the government.
However, the ex-ZPRA cadres maintain their optimism.
In an interview with CITE, ZPRA Veterans Association Spokesperson Buster Magwizi confirmed a meeting with “the clear intention of discussing how to regain their properties” will take place on January 28, 2023, at McDonald Hall in Mzilikazi.
“We are inviting all of the ZPRA cadres for a meeting this Saturday at McDonald Hall. This meeting will involve a representative from the government sent by the president to deliberate with ZPRA veterans,” he said.
Magwizi emphasised the negotiation on how to reclaim their ZPRA properties was the main agenda.
“ZPRA veterans are hereby advised that the meeting will discuss ZPRA properties such as how to negotiate our path in order to regain our properties. May the ZPRA veterans be advised accordingly and come in all their strength and unity,” he said.
Their properties were seized under the Unlawful Organisation Act in 1982 (Caveat No. 15 of 82) and transferred in January 1987 to the President of Zimbabwe (under No. 56 of 87).
Some of these include Nijo Farm, Castle Arms Motel, Magnet House, Kudu Motors, Hampton Farm, Ascot Farm, Nest egg farm, Woodyglen Farm, Mbalabala Garage, Nyamandlovu Farm, Snake Park and Salisbury Motel in Harare.
Last year on October 19 the ex-ZPRA combatants filed an application at the Harare High Court seeking its intervention in the return of Nijo Produce (Private) Limited which was controversially transferred to Zanu PF in 2020 by the late Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister, Perrance Shiri.
In their lengthy application, the three applicants, namely ZPRA Liberation War Ex Combatants, Frederick Charles Moses Mutanda (association’s coordinator), and Ben Ncube (ZPRA War Veterans Association chairman) want the property returned to its owners.
Betterbrands Construction (Pvt) Ltd, Chaminuka Estates (Pvt) Ltd, Broad Haven Construction (Pvt) Ltd and Environmental Management Agency (EMA) were cited as the first to fourth respondents, respectively.